Woodstock - The Biggest Music Festival in History

 

The Woodstock Festival was a three-day pop and rock concert that turned out to be the most popular music event in history. It became a symbol of the hippie movement of the 1960s.

Four young men organized the festival. The original idea was to stage a concert that would raise enough money to build a recording studio for young musicians at Woodstock, New York.

At first many things went wrong. People didn't want any hippies and drug addicts coming to the original location. About 2 months before the concert a new site had to be found.

Luckily, the organizers found a 600 acre large dairy farm in Bethel, New York, where the concert could take place. Because the venue had to be changed not everything was finished in time.

The organizers expected about 50,000 people, but as the date came nearer it became clear that far more people wanted to be at the event. A few days before the festival began hundreds of thousands of pop and rock fans were on their way to Woodstock. There were not enough gates where tickets were checked and fans made holes in the fences, so lots of people just walked in. About 300,000 to 500,000 people were at the concert.

Hippies at Woodstock

Hippies at Woodstock - Derek Redmond and Paul Campbell

 

The event caused a giant traffic jam. Thousands simply left their cars parked on roads and highways and walked to the site.

On Friday, August 15, 1969 the festival officially started. Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie and other folk artists performed. On Saturday Santana, Janis Joplin, The Who and others starred on stage.

Most people started leaving on Sunday. When Jimi Hendrix was the last musician on the stage only about 25,000 fans were still present.

During the whole festival people took drugs, had sex and lay around naked. The rain turned the whole place into one big muddy site. Nevertheless Woodstock was a big success, even though the organizers were faced with a debt of over a million dollars. A short time later a film about the festival became a big hit.

 

 

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  Words

 

  • dairy farm = a farm that has cows and produces and sells milk
  • debt = when you must give back money that you owe to someone
  • drug addict = person who takes drugs and is dependent on them
  • face = to be in a difficult situation with some problems
  • far more = a lot more
  • fence = a structure made of wood or metal that is around a piece of land
  • gate = big door or entrance
  • lay = to be flat on the floor
  • location = place of the concert
  • movement = people who have the same opinion , think the same things and work together
  • muddy = soft, wet earth
  • musician = person who plays music
  • nevertheless = but, even so
  • perform = to sing on stage
  • popular = liked by many people
  • raise = collect
  • site = place
  • stage = organize
  • star = to be the star of
  • success = victory; something that was really great
  • traffic jam = a long line of cars and trucks that cannot move on or can only travel very slowly
  • venue = site, setting, location